New Delhi: India and the US on Wednesday acknowledged that there were the “outstanding issues” related to trade between both the countries but vowed to work as “friends” to remove the differences. Further, both the countries also resolved to strengthen their ties in diverse areas, including defence and fight against terrorism.

While speaking to the media after talks with the visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the countries should take “constructive and pragmatic view” on the issues pertaining to trade between them. “It is natural that when you have trade, then there will be trade issues. The real test of our intention is our ability to address them effectively” he added.

Pompeo asserted that great friends are bound to have disagreements. “Washington and New Delhi need to solve trade issues as there are millions of opportunity before the two countries.”

Notably, India had imposed retaliatory tariffs on 25 American goods less than two weeks after US President Donald Trump announced an end to preferential trade treatment for India over the trade barriers.

Last year, India had announced tariffs in retaliation to higher US import duties on steel and aluminium.

“Great friends are bound to have disagreements and the US has been quite clear with its demand of greater market access and today I addressed these differences in the spirit of friendship to remove trade barriers and open economy. The two countries will be able to see a good outcome for each other,” Pompeo said.

“I’ve never found a partner, ally, no matter how close, where we didn’t have places where we’ve to work through things. We have endeavoured to make sure that our countries can provide security for ourselves, want India to be able to do that too,” he added.

Further, both the leaders discussed a number of bilateral and global issues, including terrorism, and the Asia Pacific during lunch hosted by Jaishankar for his counterpart.

“I take the opportunity to express our appreciation for the strong support that we have received from the Trump administration, what we say is really zero tolerance for cross border terrorism,” Jaishankar said.

In a veiled reference to China on Indo-Pacific issues, the MEA said, “Indo-Pacific is not against something but for somebody. That something is peace, security, stability and prosperity we are really looking.”

Pompeo also reiterated that India and the US have solidified their common vision for free and open Indo-Pacific. “We have grown cooperation in energy, space and other areas.”

Pompeo’s visit marks the third visit to India by a Secretary of State during the Trump Administration. After his India visit from June 25-27, Pompeo will travel to Japan to attend the G-20 Summit with Trump.

(With agency inputs)